Sharing the vision and supporting the mission of the Triangle area non-profit community.



WAKE Up and Read

by Judy Liu, MPH Y

ou can provide books to support a child’s reading journey. Studies have shown that children who receive a high-qual- ity early childhood education:

• Perform better in school • Stay in school longer and are more likely to attend college • Earn more and are less likely to need government assistance • Lead healthier lives • Give back to the community Wake County SmartStart (WCSS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofi t

organization. Since inception in 1996, WCSS has supported hun- dreds of children in learning to read. WCSS is part of a network of 75 local nonprofi t partnerships led by T e North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. (NCPC). T eir mission is to build the capacity of families and the community to ensure that chil- dren, age birth to fi ve, are prepared for success in school and in life. WCSS believes each child has the potential to do great things! WCSS works to improve the quality, accessibility and aff ordability of child care; provide preventive healthcare and early intervention services; and off er family support services—all delivered as part of a strong and diverse integrated early childhood system. WCSS funded partners provide direct services for children

and their families. Community volunteers, staff members, child care providers, schools, civic organizations and local businesses all strive to realize the WCSS mission and build a strong founda- tion for children’s learning and development beginning at birth. In addition to programs directly managed by WCSS, 10 partner agencies also receive funding. Together, 11 local agencies provide services through 22 programs focused on the following goals: • Children are in safe, supportive home environments • Children are in high quality care that contributes to a positive outcome

• Children are healthy and are developmentally ready for school

• Children and families are supported by a strong and diverse early childhood system

WCSS and their partner agencies support high-quality early

care and education through: • Nurturing and responsive learning communities that promote trusting relationships

• Engaging and positive interactions with children, families and staff

• Inclusive and safe play environments with opportunities for physical, social-emotional, language and cognitive skill development

• Teaching strategies that address the varying abilities of each child

• Practices that respect diversity WAKE Up and Read is a collaborative eff ort to engage and ed-

ucate Wake County residents about the importance of childhood literacy and to increase access to literacy resources and oppor- tunities for all children. By partnering with community agencies and partners, resources and opportunities focused on increasing early literacy skills of young children are developed and shared. T e WAKE Up and Read collaborative meets regularly to share programming, research and funding information. By communi- cating and planning with organizations doing similar work, the system of response on early literacy work is more effi cient. To learn more, call 919-852-3319, visit

or email Have a question about book drives? Call 919-431-7207 or write

to Wake Up and Read, Wake County Public Schools, Offi ce of Ear- ly Learning, Crossroads II, 110 Corning Road, Cary, NC 27518.

Natural Awakenings supports Triangle area non-profi ts by off ering a free full-page feature article each month. It is a very visible platform from which an organization

can tell its story and detail the services it off ers. Please let us know if you would like for your non-profi t organization to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue. Call 919-342-2831 or email

26 NA Triangle

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